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January 5, 2017

There is one college pick tonight.

Take Ohio State +4 spread (buy half a point) against Purdue for 3% of the bankroll.

The Purdue Boilermakers may be ranked in the Top 25 but they are finding out that the Big 10 is much more competitive than it once was as they suffered a rare home loss at the hands of Minnesota in their last game. Purdue has long been known as a team that has had a strong presence on their home court, but tonight will be a different story as they travel to Columbus to take on the Ohio State Buckeyes.

The Boilermakers may be 12-3 on the year, but this contest will be just their 2nd true road game of the season. It's extremely difficult to play on the road, especially in this much-improved conference and they did fall 71-64 in their first road game at Louisville last month. Purdue also hasn't been a team that has be great at rebounding off a loss as they are just 1-5-1 ATS in their last 7 games following a defeat. Not only have the Boilermakers struggled to rebound from a loss, they will now be playing in a place where they haven't had success over the past few years. The Boilermakers have won just once in 14 trips to Value City Arena and have lost four in a row, with the lone victory coming in 2010. The fact that the oddsmakers have made them the favorite in this contest is a bit puzzling.

The Ohio State Buckeyes come into this matchup also off a loss in their conference opener as they dropped a 75-70 decision on the road at Illinois. Unlike their counterparts, the Buckeyes have actually been an extremely motivated team when coming off a defeat and are 9-3-1 ATS in their last 13 games off a loss. At 10-4 and 0-1 in conference play already, Thad Matta's team can ill-afford to drop a second consecutive conference game. There is no question that this team will do everything that they can to prevent this game from getting away from them. The Buckeyes have typically been a strong home team and have been especially tough in their conference home openers. Under Matta, the Buckeyes are a near perfect 11-1 in this situation.

There is no question that there are many who view Purdue as the better overall team and while that may be true, in this particular situation, we expect them to struggle. Their lack of true road games is likely to hurt them in the early going and we expect the Ohio State players to feed off the energy of the crowd. It's extremely difficult for ranked teams to go on the road and play in a hostile environment. We saw what happened to top ranked Villanova last night when we accurately predicted they would be knocked off by Butler and we expect a similar result here tonight in this matchup. Even if Ohio State falls short of the outright victory, we expect them to play well enough to keep this game down to one possession.

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